Grandpa Jack’s Minestrone


I think I was still in college when I first had this soup, and I knew then that I needed the recipe. (By the way, every now and then, I’m a little aghast that I haven’t shared this with you yet; it’s one of my all-time favorites, and it’s also now a great way to get my kids to happily eat a load of veggies.)

My grandparents called this “Upstate Minestrone,” because they got the recipe from some friends on the East Coast who would prepare a pot of this soup to simmer while they took an afternoon drive “upstate.” I prefer to just call it “Grandpa Jack’s Minestrone” because it reminds me of my talented grandfather who passed away about 5 months after Tito was born.

Creamy Black Bean Chicken Soup


This soup is quite similar to the Slow Cooker Enchilada Soup that I posted about a few weeks ago (about which I’ve gotten great reviews – thanks, guys!), but it’s just different enough and just good enough that it’s worth sharing, too! We had this at Happy Hour last night and my Crockpot was scraped empty. A bonus is that it’s super easy and fast to throw together, especially if you use canned black beans.

Sweet Potato and Lentil Chili


For our inaugural Happy Hour of the school year, I made this Sweet Potato and Lentil Chili. Honestly, I was looking for a recipe that would be cheap and low-maintenance, since I figured we’d be serving a bit of a crowd (I think we had 19 adults and a little under 10 kids show up). In terms of foods that are filling, cheap and healthy, you can’t go wrong with sweet potatoes and lentils (unless you’re paleo, but then you’re also not going to put sour cream and cheese on top of the finished recipe, and you also shouldn’t be complaining about free food and drinks at somebody else’s house. Fortunately for me, nobody complains… to me, anyway).

In fact, a lot of people really loved this soup! I liked it better the next day, but something might have been wrong with my tastebuds that day because I also thought my salsa (same recipe every week for 2+ years now) tasted funky and everyone else thought it was fine. In retrospect, I’d call it a win on all fronts.

Slow Cooker Enchilada Chicken Soup


You guys, it’s soup season again! And in Billings, the temperatures are dropping so quickly, I just want to drop everything and make soup! Soup, soup, soup, soup, soup.

I kicked off soup season (can I say “Soup-tember” without sounding overly cheesy?) with this one that’s been on my Pinterest board for a while: Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup. Everyone in the family liked it, especially the kids when we added even more cheese and sour cream to the top of their bowls. I had leftovers for lunch a few times; I just love making a big pot of soup and eating off of it for the rest of the week. My kids don’t know any better yet, either.

One Pot, Healthy Cauliflower Mac n Cheese


You know who’s been a lazy blogger recently? THIS GIRL! And, who’s been a lazy cook lately, too? THIS GIRL!

This isn’t a soup recipe, although I do have a few soup recipes that I need to blog before I totally forget about them. Have you made my Asian Chicken Chili soup recipe? I’ve made it a few times in the last few weeks, using bok choy, carrots, bell peppers, and cooking a big pot of rice that people can add as they want. If you want a fast and healthy meal, give it a go!

In the meantime, here is a recipe that the kids and I have been enjoying about once a week. They like it because it’s mac n cheese; I like it because it’s whole foods (I consider cheese a “whole food,” don’t rain on my parade if it’s not, please?) and full of veggies.

Corn & Andouille Chowder


Does anybody else love, love, love the delectable combination that is creamy and spicy? Exhibit 1: Pioneer Woman’s jalapeno poppers, which disappear whenever we make them, no matter how many we make (if you happen to have a few leftover, they’re actually quite good for breakfast the next morning). Exhibit 2: Johnny Carino’s has a spicy-creamy pasta that I’ve had like three times and tried to replicate about half a dozen. Exhibit 3: this soup.

Menu for the week of 11/18


Well, another week, another menu. Last Thursday, our house got hit with a stomach bug, so we spent the weekend subsisting mostly on saltines, animal crackers, rice cooked in chicken broth, and chicken soup. We’re pretty well mended up by now, so here’s to a healthy week!

Menu for the Week of 11/11


I’ve been contemplating sharing my weekly menu with the Internet world (all 15 of you who read my blog, anyway). I love food. I love cooking, I love thinking about different flavor combinations, I love shopping for food, and I love knowing that I am providing my family and friends with generally nutritious, flavorful meals.

However, I know that this is not the case for all of my friends, and so I wondered if people would find it helpful if I published my weekly meal plan on an occasional basis (I don’t know that I could promise to do it every week, but you could always go back into the archives to get inspiration from the past). Would anyone find this helpful? Let me know!

Pumpkin Black Bean Chili


This chili was a little bit of a leap of faith for me since it prominently features two flavors that I’m not typically wild about: pumpkin and parsley. However, I was feeling adventurous and wanted to celebrate some fall flavors. Plus, I was feeding it to a crowd, so there were good odds that I wouldn’t be eating the leftovers for days by myself. And, the recipe came from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe, a food blog that has never left me anything but supremely happy with her recipes. She strikes the perfect balance¬†between a variety of flavors, but not-too-out-there (she is feeding a houseful of kids after all), and reasonable amount of preparation. Remember that white chili recipe you all love? That’s from Mel.

Chili Blanco Especial


My mom has been making this soup, from the fantastic Creme de Colorado cookbook, for ages. I have the recipe hand-written on a recipe card from her when I went to seminary, and at the time I was a little shocked to discover how expensive white pepper was/is. It was worth it in this soup, though, and now I’ve discovered that our local Natural Grocers sells white pepper for a fraction of the price of other stores.